Notre Dame’s QB sit­u­a­tion and other things to know

The Morning Call - - VARSITY - By Keith Groller Keith Groller can be reached at 610-820-6740 or at [email protected]

Just three games into the Colo­nial League high school foot­ball sea­son and just one un­beaten re­mains — South­ern Le­high.

The Spar­tans set them­selves apart with an im­pres­sive 62-27 win over Notre Dame Fri­day night at Quak­er­town.

While much of the South­ern Le­high news in the sea­son’s first month has been about the team’s un­playable field and how it led to four con­sec­u­tive road games to start the sea­son, the bot­tom line is the Spar­tans have built a very good team that can play well on any field.

Here’s a look at how Week 4 shapes up:

3 things to know

1. Sau­con Val­ley and Sal­is­bury are play­ing the league’s third Thurs­day night game of the sea­son to kick off the weekend. It’s a good matchup, too, with both teams 2-1. Fal­cons coach Andy Cerco, whose team played at North­west­ern on the Thurs­day night be­fore La­bor Day, said the Thurs­day night games give the teams in­volved a chance to get more ex­po­sure since they’re not in the Fri­day night mix when a ma­jor­ity of games are played.

2. Notre Dame used four quar­ter­backs in its loss to South­ern Le­high with two of the four go­ing down with in­juries and will likely con­tinue to use mul­ti­ple QBs.

Cru­saders coach Phil Stam­baugh said that sopho­more Collin Quin­tano, who played so well in the first two weeks suf­fered a ma­jor in­jury and will be out for a sig­nif­i­cant pe­riod of time. “There’s a pos­si­bil­ity he’ll be out the rest of the sea­son and there’s a pos­si­bil­ity he’ll only miss a cou­ple of weeks,” Stam­baugh said. “Right now we’re go­ing to use [An­drew] Darno at quar­ter­back and then a com­bi­na­tion of the other guys, depend­ing on who’s healthy.”

Darno was 6-for-10 pass­ing for 84 yards and a touch­down against South­ern Le­high.

He is also one of the area’s best re­ceivers with 20 catches for 277 yards and four scores.

“An­drew was a quar­ter­back in mid­dle school and as a JV,” Stam­baugh said. “The only rea­son he didn’t play here was be­cause we had Cole DeFranco. He was the backup quar­ter­back last year and en­tered this sea­son as the backup. He’s an ath­lete and knows the of­fense. I feel com­fort­able putting him in there. He ran the of­fense in the off­sea­son while Collin was play­ing base­ball.”

While los­ing Darno as a re­ceiver is not a plus, Stam­baugh said the re­ceivers are the deep­est part of the ros­ter and he ex­pects sev­eral play­ers to step up and fill the void cre­ated by Darno go­ing to QB.

3. In the lat­est Pennlive.com state rank­ings, North­west­ern Le­high is listed at No. 9 in 4A (Beth­le­hem Catholic is No. 4). South­ern Le­high and Notre Dame are rated as “teams to watch” in 5A and 3A re­spec­tively. Imhotep Char­ter, the peren­nial Philadel­phia Public League pro­gram that has dom­i­nated lo­cal teams in states in the past sev­eral sea­sons, is 0-3 and not ranked in 4A.

Player to watch

South­ern Le­high se­nior Cam Fisher was one of sev­eral Spar­tans to have a big night against Notre Dame. Fisher had eight car­ries for 130 yards rush­ing and two touch­downs. He also caught a pass for 23 yards for a TD and had a 40-yard punt re­turn to set up a Spar­tans TD.

On de­fense, the three-year starter and cap­tain had four tack­les and broke up a pass.

“Cam’s been wait­ing his turn on of­fense,” South­ern Le­high coach John To­man said. “He’s an in­cred­i­bly hard worker and an amaz­ing team­mate. He’s our speed guy on of­fense and al­ways found a way to put in the ex­tra time in the weight room dur­ing the off­sea­son. All around, he’s a great player to coach.”

6 matchups to dis­sect THURS­DAY NIGHT

Sal­is­bury at Sau­con Val­ley: The Pan­thers are fourth in the league in both of­fense and de­fense. As has been the case in re­cent years, the of­fense is tilted heav­ily to­ward the run game with the pass­ing at­tack av­er­ag­ing just over 50 yards a game. Damian Gar­cia and Chris Mann power the Sau­con ground at­tack with 9.9 and 12.3 yards per carry. Sal­is­bury quar­ter­backs have thrown the ball 71 times for seven TDs and no in­ter­cep­tions. Sau­con won last year, 41-27, and has won seven in a row in the se­ries.

FRI­DAY NIGHT

Pal­isades at Catasauqua: Some­one will feel good for the first time when this one’s over. The Pi­rates have man­aged just 163.7 yards and lit­tle more than seven points per game and the Roughies are last in the league at 86 ypg with just 32 points all sea­son. Pal­isades won 55-22 last year.

Palmer­ton at Notre Dame: Blue Bombers coach Chris Walkowiak doesn’t like to list a po­si­tion for se­nior Jor­dan Nel­son. He prefers to move him around and the stats re­flect Nel­son’s ver­sa­til­ity with 56 re­ceiv­ing yards, 110 pass­ing yards and 109 rush­ing yards. Notre Dame, mean­while, has a mul­ti­tude of play­mak­ers. Chris­tian Greggo and Matt Frauen Jr., both have over 400 all-pur­pose yards in three games. Notre Dame won last year’s game 35-20 and has won four straight in a se­ries it leads 24-18-2.

South­ern Le­high at Ban­gor: The Spar­tans will try to avoid a let­down af­ter one of the pro­gram’s best per­for­mances in sev­eral sea­sons. South­ern Le­high av­er­ages 328 yards rush­ing and five rush­ing touch­downs per game. The Spar­tans had more yards rush­ing last week (451) than seven Colo­nial League mem­bers, in­clud­ing Ban­gor, have all sea­son. The Slaters won last year’s game 28-20 and lead the all-time se­ries 23-21.

SATUR­DAY AF­TER­NOON

North­ern Le­high at Pen Ar­gyl: The Green Knights’ sin­gle-wing of­fense has pro­duced 420 yards rush­ing in three weeks, but just 63 pass­ing, the low­est to­tal in the league. Pen Ar­gyl’s de­fense, di­rected by long­time Eas­ton de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Doug Pow­ell, is sec­ond in the league in yards al­lowed, giv­ing up 216.7 ypg. North­ern Le­high leads the league in de­fense, al­low­ing just 191 ypg. North­ern Le­high won last year’s game 14-3 and leads the all-time se­ries 14-11.

North­west­ern Le­high at Wil­son: The Tigers have four play­ers with six re­cep­tions or more led by Justin Rodda, who has 11 catches for 174 yards and four touch­downs. North­west­ern Le­high stand­out Deven Bollinger has 788 all-pur­pose yards, in­clud­ing 555 pass­ing. Wil­son’s three games have been de­cided by a to­tal of 10 points. The Tigers won last year’s game 31-14 and have won eight straight in a se­ries they lead 16-10.

RICK KINTZEL/THE MORN­ING CALL

Notre Dame-Green Pond quar­ter­back Collin Quin­tano looks for an open re­ceiver against South­ern Le­high last Fri­day at Quak­er­town High School.

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